In the winter months, we Minnesotan’s tend to do lots of shoveling. Shoveling is a chore that is very stressful on our body, especially when we don’t use the correct body mechanics. To ensure you take care of yourself for the rest of the winter season, we would like you to incorporate these tips when you get outside and shovel:
- Make sure your body is properly conditioned before donning your winter coat and grabbing your snow shovel. Warmed-up muscles will be less likely to tighten up or snap when under the strains of snow shoveling. You can warm up by taking a brisk walk or doing simple stretching exercises, such as knee-to-chest pulls, trunk rotations, and side bends with hands above your head and fingers locked.
- Layer your clothing to keep from overheating. This helps to keep your muscles warm, and flexible.
- Stand erect and push the snow straight ahead, avoid lifting and tossing heavy loads of snow. And especially avoid twisting when holding a shovel full of heavy snow. Bend at your knees, not at your waist to lift when shoveling.
- Rest frequently to take the strain off your muscles.
- Try to stand as erect as possible.
- Take your time, you will minimize injuries
If something does happen, and you strain yourself while shoveling, remember we can help you heal your injury more quickly. Until you can come in for an adjustment, rest and ice the injury.
Low-intensity laser treatment (LILT) is a revolutionary treatment for chronic pain and injuries, harnessing the focused power of light to accelerate the healing of damaged tissues deep inside the body. When the light comes into contact with damaged cells, the cells react by regenerating, reviving and healing.
Laser therapy effectively repairs the underlying damage that causes pain instead of masking the symptoms. By healing the actual damage, patients are liberated from long-term painkiller usage and can return to an active lifestyle faster — often without surgical intervention. This makes it an incredibly cost-effective and efficient form of health care that is also:
- Non-invasive and non-toxic
- Comfortable and provides natural pain relief
- Free of side effects
The process of using light to generate healing, growth and metabolism is nothing new — plants do it every day to create energy from sunlight. Today, scientists know that infrared laser light can have the same effect to injured human tissues.
The specific wavelength of light used during low-intensity laser therapy penetrates into the body’s tissues without generating heat. It does, however, activate the metabolism inside damaged cells. Light-sensitive molecules inside of a cell’s mitochondria spur the production of several substances responsible for regeneration, healing and metabolism including: adenosine triphosphate (ATP), several proteins, and ribonucleic acid (RNA). The light also reduces inflammation, boosts circulation and improves the cell’s ability to use oxygen and nutrients to repair itself.
While all of this is happening inside the body, the patient is lying or sitting comfortably in one of our relaxing treatment rooms while we gently rub the smooth infrared-emitting light probe over the affected area.
Because laser therapy acts by healing and regenerating tissues inside the body without any invasive procedures or drug therapies, it can successfully treat a wide variety of injuries and conditions including:
- Sprains and Strains — Injuries to the muscles, tendons and ligaments respond very well to laser therapy. It stimulates endorphin release (your body’s own painkillers) and repairs overworked, overstretched and torn tissues.
- Fractures — Hairline stress fractures in the bone mend more quickly with laser stimulation.
- Facet Joint Syndrome — If the cartilage cushioning the spinal facet joints deteriorates, vertebrae grate against one another and can pinch nerves. Combining LILT and chiropractic care has been very successful at relieving the resulting back pain and improving spinal flexibility and mobility.
- Bulging and Herniated Discs — Laser therapy can also help repair and regenerate damaged intervertebral discs to alleviate back pain and pain that radiates into the arms and legs. Laser therapy and chiropractic care are an effective combination for treating injured discs.
- Bruises — Laser therapy stimulates the dilation of smaller blood vessels surrounding the bruise, helping to usher fluids and swelling effectively from the bruised area to accelerate healing.
Interseg-what??! You may know this better as “The Roller Bed”. The bed provides a therapy called intersegmental traction. You may have been on this bed many times, but wonder, what exactly does this do, and how is it beneficial? Today, we aim to answer all of those questions.
Intersegmental traction is an effective chiropractic therapy that induces passive motion into the spine for the purpose of stretching spinal joints and increasing mobility. Intersegmental traction helps to gently and effectively reestablish normal range of motion to your spine. It also facilitates muscle relaxation to significantly reduce muscle spasms. Whether you’re a professional athlete, runner, or just someone who often exercises, the stress and trauma to your spine can be debilitating-especially with age and wear and tear.
At Minnesota Chiropractic and Rehabilitation, intersegmental traction is delivered through the use of a traction table. You lay down on the table (on your back) and there are rollers just underneath the surface of the table. These rollers can be adjusted depending on your chiropractic condition and weight to gently and specifically elongate and stretch your spinal joints and muscles. This helps to reduce muscle spasms and increases your range of motion for your spinal joints (each vertebrae). When your muscles become more relaxed and vertebrae begin to move normally, your vertebral discs now have their normal space and can return to their normal position and functioning. This also helps to prevent abnormal wear and tear on the vertebral discs and prevents further injury and reduces the arthritis process.
Intersegmental traction is non-invasive and painless. Many of our chiropractic patients find this form of chiropractic care to be relaxing. The gentle rolling action is restful, exercising the spine without effort.
What are the advantages of intersegmental traction chiropractic therapy
- Increases mobility and stretches ligaments and muscles
- Reduces muscle spasms and spinal subluxations
- Increases blood flow and oxygen to discs, ligaments and muscles, thereby improving balance, strength and mobility.
Intersegmental traction is a particularly effective chiropractic therapy when used in conjunction with chiropractic manipulative therapy, as done at Minnesota Chiropractic and Rehabilitation!
As a patient, you may have had Inferential Therapy (also known as Electrical Stimulation) before some of your adjustments. You may be thinking “What??” Let me explain a little better. Electrical Stimulation at Minnesota Chiropractic and Rehabilitation is usually done before a treatment at our office. This is when you are taken back to lay face down on a table and cool pads are put on your back. Then we turn on the machine, so that the pads feel like they are making your muscles twitch. Sound familiar? Today, you get to learn more about how exactly that machine works, and why it is an effective treatment!
Electric stimulation therapy is a therapeutic treatment that applies electrical stimulation in treating muscle spasms and pain. It can help prevent atrophy and build strength in patients with injuries. It is also helpful in keeping muscles active especially after any type spinal cord injury or strokes.
Electric stimulation works by mimicking the natural way by which the body exercises its muscles. The electrodes attached to the skin deliver impulses that make the muscles contract. It is beneficial in increasing the patient’s range of motion and improves the circulation of the body. It is used in treating conditions like sprains, arthritis, back pain scoliosis and sciatica.
TENS is commonly used to help with chronic pain. The general type of electric stimulation is used for healing wounds and alleviating pain. For the convenience of the patient, a portable TENS unit can be prescribed by the doctor or a physical therapist for the patient to use at home.
Interferential current (IFC) is another form of TENS. It is used by physical therapists and chiropractors for the purpose of decreasing inflammation and swelling of affected tissues. This treatment has also shown positive effects in improving symptoms of asthma and in reducing back pain.
Galvanic stimulation is also another application of electric stimulation. This involves applying pulsed electric current on affected body tissues in stimulating muscle contraction. It differs with TENS and IFC in its use of direct current rather than alternating current. The positive pad acts to decrease circulation of the target area and reduce swelling. The negative pad increases the distribution of oxygen, blood and nutrients to the injured area thus increasing the speed of the healing process.
Administration of electric stimulation should exclude patients with pacemakers or those who have certain kinds of skin disease. Pregnant women should also avoid this treatment.
In using electric stimulation, chiropractors seek to improve quality of life for patients when the traditional treatment plans are not working, or as a great addition to any treatment to get quicker results.